Close cookies panel

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience.

If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website.

A sister who did it for herself

Posted by Jonathan Broom on 19 September 2018
Related property: Braithwaite Court
A sister who did it for herself

Though she should be renowned in her own right as an author, poet and diarist, Dorothy Wordsworth’s fame (such as it is) rests almost entirely on her kinship with the much better-known William:

Poet Laureate, contemporary and friend of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and author of such timeless works as ‘The Prelude’ and ‘Daffodils’. A travesty, really – since although she was content to live in her brother’s shadow (poetry-wise), and to cohabit with him, first in Somerset and latterly in the Lake District, for most of her life (the siblings were very close), she was a talented writer herself.

And was certainly made of much more adventurous stock. While he was wandering “lonely as a cloud” in April 1802, Dorothy (who accompanied her brother on his stroll among the narcisseae; not that lonely, then) was possibly already contemplating an altogether more arduous walk: an ascent of the then rarely-climbed Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England.

The awe-inspiring Scafell Pike

Mountaineering was an unusual activity at the time, and women walking by themselves (never mind climbing mountains) more unusual still – frowned upon, in fact. But that didn’t stop Dorothy and her friend Mary Barker from conquering Scafell Pike in October 1818. The first women to climb the mountain? Probably. The first to do so unaccompanied by men? Almost certainly. But what is 100% sure is that Dorothy’s account of the climb is among the first written records of a recreational ascent of the mountain – and the first to be written by a woman.

In her account, Dorothy describes a seemingly endless landscape. Of the final ascent, she writes: “There, not a blade of grass was to be seen – hardly a cushion of moss, and that was parched and brown; and only growing rarely between the huge blocks and stones which cover the summit and lie in heaps all around to a great distance, like skeletons or bones of the Earth not wanted at the Creation, and here left to be covered by never-dying lichens, which the clouds and dews nourish; and adorn with colours of the most vivid and exquisite beauty, and endless in variety.”

Now, as then: the summit of Scafell Pike

Dorothy’s account of her ascent of Scafell Pike was later included, without attribution, in her brother’s Guide Through the District of the Lakes. Readers could – and did – infer that it was William who had made the climb. But 200 years on, this seems as good a time as any to set the record straight.

An exhibition, ‘This Girl Did: Dorothy Wordsworth & Women Mountaineers’ is running until 23rd December 2018 at William and Dorothy’s former home, Dove Cottage in Grasmere, 16 miles south of Braithwaite Court via the B5295, the A66, the A591 and the B5287. Further information on the exhibition (and Dove Cottage) can be found by clicking here.

But Scafell Pike is there to be climbed at any time – all 3,200 feet of it. There are various routes of ascent, some more challenging than others; but when you get to the summit, be sure to tip your hat to a hitherto largely unsung mountaineering pioneer.

Share this post:
Jonathan Broom

Jonathan Broom

How can I find out more?

The Holiday Property Bond could do as much for your quality of life as it has done for many thousands of families who have already invested. That's why we invite you to get in touch with us in any of these 3 ways and please don't forget our unique 'Money back promise' and 'interest free loan' options.

Close

We're so confident you'll be delighted with HPB
that we offer you a 'Money Back Promise'!

In regular surveys, Bondholders tell us how happy they are with HPB holidays. That's why we feel confident in giving you the extra reassurance of our unprecedented 'Money Back Promise':

If you take your first HPB holiday within three years of investing and are not, for any reason, entirely happy, you can apply to cash in your HPB investment within 14 days of your return. Whatever the encashment value, the parent company of the issuer of HPB will make up any difference so that you get back the full amount of your original payment, including charges.

This offer applies to a holiday at any HPB owned property which is taken by at least one of the Bondholders themselves.

Full details of the offer will be provided before you invest.

Request our brochure Speak to a representative Visit an Open Day or Exhibition

Please request our fully
illustrated brochure

Please read "How HPB works" and then we will be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, along with our full length DVD introduced by Bondholder Sue Barker and a list of forthcoming Open Days and Exhibitions. See the beautiful holiday homes and magnificent locations where you can spend your holidays as a Bondholder.

Please complete and submit the form or,
alternatively, telephone our FREE brochure request line on 0800 230 0391

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?

We will use the details you provide above to send you our detailed HPB brochure and keep you updated about HPB holiday offers.

SUBMIT SUBMIT
* Indicates required fields

You can speak to one of our representatives

Your local HPB representative will be happy to call or meet you at a convenient time and place for an informal chat. Simply fill in your details and we'll do the rest.

Most of our representatives are Bondholders themselves and all have visited a number of Bond sites.

The representative will give you all the information you need and then leave you to make up your own mind. He or she will talk to you about your holiday requirements and what level of investment is needed to secure the kind of holidays you want.

Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Telephone number *  
Post code
iBy giving us your post code we can find a representative near you.
How did you hear about us?
Your message

One of our representatives will contact you using the information above.

SUBMIT SUBMIT
* Indicates required fields

See our stunning properties
for yourself

Attending an Open Day at an HPB holiday location is an enjoyable way to see what HPB has to offer. Just turn up and stay as long as you wish – there is no need to make an appointment. The representatives will introduce themselves and answer your questions. You will also be invited to inspect the site and see HPB’s high standards for yourself.

Alternatively, you are welcome to attend one of our Exhibitions at a hotel near you. You can chat to one of our representatives, ask your questions and watch our complete DVD 'travelogue' of HPB locations.

VISIT AN OPEN DAY OR EXHIBITION

This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited ("HPBM") registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPBM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, issued by HPB Assurance Limited ("HPBA") registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Limited registered at HSBC House, Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1GT. The Securities Manager is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LR.

Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies. No medical examination required. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM who will only charge for their services if you invest. HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA.

AS FEATURED IN The Telegraph BBC Daily Mail The Sunday Times